Joint Media Release with Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, has called on NT preschools and child care centres to sign up to the Coalition Government’s popular early learning languages programme before applications close next month.
Tens of thousands of preschoolers across the country are set to try their hand at languages this year as part of the Government’s Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) programme which is open nationally for the first time.
Senator Scullion said children could learn Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese or Spanish as part of the programme in 2017.
“We want to ensure Territory children aren’t left behind the 30,000 young Australians we expect will take part in the ELLA programme this year so I’d encourage our local preschools and child care centres to head to www.ella.edu.au and sign up,” Senator Scullion said.
“We’ve seen how the ELLA languages programme can have a positive impact on our children and so parents and families should get in touch with their preschool or child care service and ask them to sign up. We have a range of tools in place to help services roll out the ELLA programme but they need to register by 26 February 2017.
“ELLA is a play-based way for children to learn another language and open their minds and following the programme’s successful trials last year, the Coalition Government committed an additional $5.9 million to roll it out to any eligible preschool or child care centre that wants to take part.”
Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, said 25 per cent of the 852 preschools and child care centres that had signed up so far would study Chinese, 18 per cent Japanese, 13 per cent French, 9 per cent Indonesian and 3 per cent Arabic while the two new languages for 2017, Italian and Spanish, had attracted 15 per cent and 17 per cent of applications respectively.
“Walking into classrooms and hearing children enjoying singing or counting in another language and even following recipes, you get a grasp of how engaging and entertaining the ELLA programme is and why an independent evaluation found 78 per cent of parents had seen their child using words from the language they learned through ELLA outside of preschool,” Minister Birmingham said.
For more information, visit https://www.education.gov.au/early-learning-languages-australia.